Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.
No, I am not confused. I have never stated that NS is random. The mutations are random on which NS is hypothesied to filter. This has always been my understanding of darwinian theory.
I quoted Berkeley education to correct AstraSequi and of course he has acknowledged that.
Firstly may I thank you for engaging in the science of the subject. It does make a pleasant change and of course challenges thinking processes, which is what good discussions are all about.
Ok having put on my thinking cap let me respond.
Sorry but I said
You quoted me correctly the first time so I don't understand why you misquote me now.
I was stating my considered view based on the data evidence.
I don't see how your three “maybe” scenarios answer this question.
Please note that three separate populations on three different continents developed these same inversions and in an “evolutionary” short space of time.
How this can be the result of random mutations, which according to darwinian theory they would have to be, unless of course one is happy to play with unlikely statistics.
Natural Selection is not a force but simply the naturally selected result of random forces.
The driving force in darwinian theory is the random mutations that allow nature to select from.
So when you say
1) The enviromental stress in three different continents are not the same. What the
researchers noted was that the climate/latitude was the common factor. That is why
they made the link with global warming.
2) According to the theory, the mutations upon which this process rests is Random.
To expect, as you suggest that changes will probably be in similar ways, is to support
my view that the change is not random. You can't have it both ways.
Either change is random or it is not.
Please note what another researcher stated which is quoted in the New Scientist.
If the capacity for change is limited as this researcher warns, then what happens to the theory?
After all climate has always been on the change throughout life's history.
Well actually I cannot think of any reason why Dr Huey would be disturbed, other than this change does not sit well with evolutionary theory.
The basis of darwinian theory is adaptation to different environments. Species change is the product of random (unguided with no goal) mutations with nature selecting any functional changes that present themselves.
In other words the functional variation is already there for nature to select.
If the change is dramatic (as you are suggesting) then new species would be expected to arise.
Why would that be disturbing?
Surely this is the natural way, according to the theory.
No, the reason it is disturbing is because this data does not sit within evolutionary theory.
This of course raises another question.
What evidence is there for Speciation through Natural Selection?
It is after all the corner stone of evolutionary theory.
Darwin's own words
http://www.jstor.org/pss/187407 (please note my good form in naming my source )
Has this situation changed since Darwin's day?
Can someone help with some evidence.
Lets try and make the question a little easier.
What evidence is there that random mutations and natural selection can produce new functional biological information.
Three separate populations on three different continents DID NOT develop these same inversions …
The inversions developed in the ancestral population from which the studied populations disseminated. Only the frequencies of the inversions changed in response to climatic influences. This is the critical point that you have failed to understand and that renders your argument completely useless. I really wish you could see that it's only your desire for your beliefs to be true that makes you interpret (misinterpret) the findings of science the way you do. Wanting independent origins of the inversions in different populations to support your beliefs cannot make them true. Your parents must really have done a number on your head.
I must give you credit for being consistent.
These rather juvenile ad hominem attacks obviously make you feel better, so please carry on as I do enjoy pleasing you.
You clearly have a problem in understanding this subject so let me try and elucidate, albeit I probably won't be very successful, but at least its worth a try.
The research abstract said this
The New scientist comment reads
My statement that you quoted is entirely consistent with both these statements.
You see in English when the word develop or developed is used it refers to a process, and when something appears suddenly this word is not used. So is that clear? OK
So you will of course notice that I used the word "developed".
In this case the process concerned was tracked over a development period of some 24 years.
Sadly I didn't see the need to provide a time period and any additional details since I provided the reference paper url for anyone to check out.
Clearly it appears that you wish to be spoon fed all the details to make matters easier to grasp.
So, dear boy, the critical point that I have understood and sadly you appear not to have grasped, is that these inversions do not fit into the darwinian narrative.
The other researcher makes the additional point.
(Another negative against the darwinian process.)
Now since you are so reluctant (dare I say afraid) to present to this forum what evolutionary process you adhere to, I can understand your frustration. I sense the same with some religionists also.
We do know what religion you adhere to, but look, this is a science forum.
So may I ask once again, what evolutionary process do you subscribe to?
Come on, don't be shy, spill the beans and put me out of my misery.
You're a real hoot, scottie. Blind faith is strange thing.
So you didn't read the Science paper (not a good practice) - just the abstract and the New Scientist article. As you point out, though, the paper's abstract says,
That says it all. Note the words "shifts" and "frequencies". I don't read New Scientist, so I don't know the quality of its reporting, but judging from this one article, I'm not impressed.
Bad wording. The magazine's editor should have caught this. The author should have said "genetic changes" instead of "gene changes". Readers may be misled, so I'll forgive you for your misunderstanding. Maybe this is why the author is a journalist rather than a scientist.
Read the paper. It describes the "darwinian narrative". Are you saying that the authors understand their work less than you do?
A "negative against the darwinian process"? Really?
Whatever's real. By the way, there's no single "evolutionary process". Evolution consists of many "processes". Natural selection is just one, albeit an important one. Having published research on shifts in frequencies as a result of selection, I am amused by your claim of authority. A strange thing indeed.
Well at last you may be about to engage in science, well first sentence apart that is,
Since you claimed not to have access the the paper I stuck with the abstract. Why do you assume (indeed claim) that I have not read the paper. Please establish your facts, you do yourself no good by making these unsubstantiated claims.
So your complaint now is semantics.
Ok, let's take your suggestion and use “genetic changes” instead of gene changes, and let me try and help with an understanding of what is actually going on.
http://faculty.washington.edu/hueyrb/pd ... redity.pdf
So genetic changes on different populations on different continents (all within the same species) demonstrate a remarkable similarity. So much so that they regard this as a tool for monitoring.
Is this a darwinian process?
Well If it were then these changes would have to be random and clearly would not show up as the same in the different locations, but of course they do. Remember this process is a valued tool to monitor.
So some other process must be at work. If this process is not random which it clearly is not, then it can only be non-random.
The researchers have recognised that that these changes are tracking global climate change, if that is the case, and they are confident enough to state that this is a valuable tool in assessing the impact of climate change on the genome, then the change is a response to changing climate and thus has to be a programmed response.
Please remember that Natural selection can only select for that which is already there. It is not a force that changes anything.
What is causing the genetic change is either random or it is programmed.
Notice also that the mechanism of these changes is not well understood, however what is understood is that these changes do exhibit a goal of tracking climate because that is what is evident on all three continents.
Therefore these changes are evidently a programmed response.
I fully understand that this runs entirely against your philosophy but that is where the evidence is pointing and no amount of disparaging remarks can alter that.
Now at last also you have responded and informed that you adhere to “Whatever's real.”
Well are these frequency changes random or non random?
What is the reality?
You also state that you have “published research on shifts in frequencies as a result of selection,”
Huey has a comment on this matter. In the same paper he informs
( my emphasis)
So at best your research regarding selection, is being argued from within the scientific community.
Would you be prepared to identify those papers you have published, as I would be very interested in reading them.
Finally you state that “there's no single "evolutionary process". Evolution consists of many "processes".”
Whatever process you wish to identify, that process is a random one is it not?
So lets see
Punctuated equilibrium, is it real? Dawkins, Coyne and others say not.
The gradual random mutation that causes speciation, Is that real? Gould Eldridge and others say not.
The theory of symbiotic relationships driving evolution by Lynn Margulis, Is that real?
She referred to neo darwinism as
“a minor twentieth-century religious sect within the sprawling religious persuasion of Anglo-Saxon Biology.”
So there for a starters is a rather rich set of realities.
I assume therefore that you adhere to them all.
Then what is your objection?
The occurrence of natural selection is based on a logical argument, with four premises. (Can you reconstruct the argument?)
- the offspring of animals are never exactly the same as their parents, but rather have small variations.
- some of this variation gives an advantage to an animal that possesses it
- these variations can be passed down to the next generation
- in each generation, not all animals survive.
If you wish to dispute the occurrence of natural selection, you have to deny one of the premises.
I care a lot about teaching people basic biology. Of course, it takes me quite a long time to write these posts, so I hope that you're spending time thinking about them - and if it seems like you're able to learn, then my interest will increase.
I'm not sure where I misquoted you. "Evidently a programmed response" implies that there is no other plausible alternative. (I suppose I should have said "plausible" rather than "possible" in my previous quote - is that what you mean?) I then provided you with three such alternatives.
Again, the possibilities are:
- the mutations might be common enough that they happen all the time
- the mutations might occur once or twice and then spread through the population by interbreeding
- the mutations might have already been present in the ancestral population
From my post above, I think it should be fairly clear that the third option is the most likely. However, even if it is incorrect, the others are still quite possible.
That is not the observation from the paper. The observation was that at the time of the study, the populations all had certain levels of these inversions. They then compared this to historical data showing levels of inversions in the same populations, and found that the amount of increase in the different populations was correlated with the amount of temperature change at that location.
The interpretation "developed" is an inference that is not part of the data. Nobody has observed any population with no inversions.
I will also point out that changes can indeed happen quite fast, so long as the environment also changes fast - it is mainly the major innovations (like fins turning into legs) that take large amounts of time.
It depends what you mean by "unlikely." While any individual mutation is unlikely, that doesn't mean that it will not happen on a regular basis if you give it enough chances.
Suppose there is a mutation that has a one in a million chance of happening - you can call this unlikely. However, if a million fruit flies are born, then it will probably happen around once. If you then wait for a thousand generations, it will probably happen around a thousand times.
(I will also point out that for a fruit fly, a thousand generations is only about 40 years.)
I think this might be an important point that you're missing - in statistics, this is called a Bonferroni correction. If you roll a pair of dice, your chance of a double 6 is quite low (1/36). However, if you try twice, your chance doubles - and if you try a hundred times times, your chance of getting it at least once is very high - in fact, it would be more surprising if you didn't get it at least once. The probability of something happening increases as the number of times it is possible to occur increases.
I will reorder your comments in order to bring this one forward:
This is essentially the same point. As long as you have enough chances, the "correct" mutations will be able to occur, and then natural selection will be able to act.
For example, if we put some bacteria in nutrient-rich media, they will always start to grow faster after some time. This experiment only takes about a week to run, and the change will always be in the same direction.
That is to say, we observe that natural selection produces the same result. This will happen for almost any bacteria we can grow - the new environment favors those bacteria that grow the fastest, so long as we allow enough time to pass.
I think this is semantics. Both stages, the mutations and the selection, are required for species to adapt. If there are no mutations, no variation is generated and no change can occur. If there is no selection, only random change can occur.
That is why I said:
Natural selection does not say that the capacity for change is unlimited. It might perhaps be the case, but only given enough time - the rate of change over any particular time scale is limited by the amount of pre-existing variation in the population, and the rate of production of new variation (that is, the rate of mutation).
If the rate of change is too fast, the species is unable to adapt and goes extinct. Climate has never changed as fast as it is now in any point in Earth's history (save perhaps the mass extinctions, and of course they didn't go too well for life!)
Very well - it is related to what you said above. Drosophila is a highly successful species, with a very short generation time and the ability to adapt very quickly to new environments. When we see such a species changing very rapidly, it means that it needs to change that fast in order to stay adapted to the environment. (Or, in an even worse case, that its rate of change is at maximum, and it would be changing even faster if it could.)
This means that any less successful species, which cannot adapt as fast as Drosophila is adapting now (and which does not have other options such as migration), is likely to be in great difficulty.
In fact, I can tell you what the authors of the paper say, in their concluding paragraph:
I definitely agree with you that the authors know more about this topic than us. However, you will then need to accept these statements as well.
Also, observing rigorous data contradicting evolution would not be disturbing to scientists in the same way - it would be interesting.
I agree with your first statement. The second is not true in all cases, since mutations can and do continue to occur at about the same rate, whether selection is happening or not.
In this case, the functional variation was indeed already there, and all three populations already had the capacity (a low level of pre-existing inversions) for that change, because they shared a common ancestor which already had that capacity, and none of them lost it in the intervening generations. I suppose you might call this "programmed," insofar as all DNA is a cellular program, but there is nothing in this that contradicts natural selection.
Actually - what do you mean when you say "programmed"? A definition might help to clear up any misunderstanding.
Speciation requires a) differential selection on different parts of the population, b) very low gene flow between those two parts of the population, and c) the low gene flow to be maintained until enough change has occurred to prevent any future interbreeding. (There are other types of speciation, but they are not as well understood.) The authors point out in the paper that criterion b is not met - in fact, that the gene flow is unusually high. As a result, criterion c cannot be met either.
As mentioned above - the authors say it quite well. Of course, it is not as disturbing for the future of life on earth as a whole, which will probably carry on no matter what we do.
I would say the "cornerstone" is in fact the logical argument I mentioned above. (See below for my answer.)
Most definitely. I suggest you read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciation, and also any included citations if you want to investigate further. Please note in the opening paragraph, "Observed examples of each kind of speciation are provided throughout."
This is not the same question. I will answer you if you can demonstrate that you understand why that is.
Yes, it is darwinian. Selection is not random.
Or it's nonrandom selection.
The mechanism of the changes is very well understood. How the inversions confer an advantage is not understood (as far as I know).
Or therefore you don't understand what selection is.
Nonrandom. The reality is selection.
Correlations of frequencies are not necessarily the result of selection. They may be due to historical factors. So? You conclude from this that selection is doomed within the scientific community. Believe whatever you've been programmed to believe.
No. Anonymity allows me to be more acerbic that I normally am. There's no lack of other material at your disposal.
Some are, some aren't.
Are evolutionary rates universally constant? No. I agree with the general premise that "gradualism" is not the only game in town, as do Dawkins and Coyne and most biologists. I do not support the extreme position that evolution occurs ONLY in bursts, which is also the source of Dawkins' and Coyne's objections.
Most biologists think not. I'm sure it contributes, but as an exclusive alternative to mutation as the major source of variation, unlikely.
You're a very black-or-white kind of a guy, aren't you. Complex systems are complex because they don't have one controlling influence. Such thinking as yours is a function of your belief in a deity that creates and controls everything. Your belief may also be preventing you from getting the idea into your head that evolution is not a totally random thing. If selection were random, I wouldn't buy it either. Turn off your deistic filter and read the paper. Read what it actually says and not what you want it to say.
I was under the impression that biologists were always eager to share their results, you appear to be the exception, prefering to be acerbic instead.
Oh well some like to wallow in bitterness and others enjoy the beauty of life. It takes all sorts.
You did however lift my spirits with some attempted scientific dialog but sadly then dumped me again with reverting back to your deity monolog.
Still I suppose we are at least getting somewhere.
Now I could respond line by line but will choose to concentrate on your last little bit of science which I believe is at the heart of this matter.
You have raised the issue of complexity and in a very precise way that deserves clarification.
You are missing a trick here.
There are in fact three subsets to complexity. You appear to be aware of only one.
I would recommend you read this paper (peer reviewed of course) in the NIH journal PubMed Central.
These three are :-
Random Sequence Complexity (RSC); Ordered Sequence Complexity (OSC); Functional Sequence Complexity (FSC).
Complexity can pertain without any controling influence. You are correct.
This type of complexity is Random Sequence Complexity (RSC) Please inform yourself by reading this paper.
You should have noticed that I refer to functional design, check my posts.
Functional design can be complex or it can be simple, I have given examples of both in the past.
Functional design is one of the subsets of complexity. It is (FSC) Functional Sequence Complexity.
Functional design always has a controlling influence.
So we come down to the fundamental question in biology.
Is the cell just a complex system that has evolved from the bottom up, I.e. just a sum of parts that make up the whole I.e (RSC)
OR is it the product of functional design that the individual parts grow out of. (FSC)
That seems to be the major difference between our views (without of course all the deity gibberish)
Would you kindly read the paper so at least we have a common foundation to discuss from.
If you have any other papers on this issue of complexity please inform and I will be happy to read accordingly.
As I've said, you're a real hoot, scottie.
You're wise to abandon your last attempt at debunking evolution. It wasn't going anywhere for you, like your other attempts.
I had a look at the abstract of the article you linked to. As a scientist, it brought a smile to my face. The bells that went off induced me to have a look into the authors' credentials. Surprise, surprise. For those interested, others have gone further than I have:
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2012 ... litera.php
Intelligent design, yet again. I've had my suspicions about you, scottie, hiding behind this deist mask. I'll decline your offer to read the linked paper. As I've said before, I don't like to waste my time.
Why did it remind me of this? http://www.chem1.com/acad/webtext/sci/p ... i.html#REC
Cis or trans? That's what matters.
Dr Abel seem to have gone a bit far for help considering his latest papers, but as far as I know, Dr Trevors is a competent if a bit strange microbiologist. But that is beyond the point.
I could also argue that the fact that you did not grasp that Pubmed Central is not a journal but a repository for papers and that your failure to be able to identify the publication in which a paper is published (Theoretical Biology & Medical Modelling) do not speak highly of your attention to details.
Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without
any proof. (Ashley Montague)
Nice to have you back in the ring
So Dr Abel is a bit of a strange microbiologist?
Well I'm sure that is just an opinion you have, for what it's worth.
Perhaps we could also have your opinion on the science he posits.
Remember he has produced a paper on the principles of complexity, and has also set out 4 null hypotheses that could falsify his posits.
So how about, as a scientist, at least attempting to falsifying what he has put out instead of resorting to and indeed relying on rather condesending rhetoric.
Surely you can do better than this, like pointing out what is wrong with the paper.
You could argue but I take it you are not going to then.
If you look at the top left hand insert you will note it says “PubMed Central Journal List.”
How far away is that from what I wrote. Really now, is this the best you can do.?
Good to see you are having some fun again.
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